By Fellow Rogue: Steve Kim
Howdy everybody and congrats on the half and full marathon all!! I really enjoyed reading Amanda’s, and Rebecca’s account of the race and will throw in my version as well. It is a bit long winded so grab a beer 🙂
Quick back story. In July 2011, after a vacation trip from Chicago, I weighed in at a hefty 295 pounds. I actually thought it might be a good idea to gain 50 more pounds and try to get in on the biggest loser show. I honestly did think it was a great idea at the time….well, fast forward to Nov of 2011, and I opted to change my lifestyle instead. I started to eat better/work out, and started to see some improvements right away. On Feb of 2012, I came down to support the runners at the Livestrong race and cheered on the runners around Congress. I was so inspired by all the runners that I told myself to sign up for a half marathon in the fall to push myself. I also told another spectator that those runners doing the full marathon were insane for running that far….little did I know haha. I found the perfect race, the San Antonio HM. I signed up for it in March and I continued to eat better and exercised routinely. However, I only ran on a treadmill and I knew I needed to run outdoors for the race. So, in July of 2012 I started my rogue HM training. At the time, I saw running as a means to an end, just something to do to get thinner and healthier. That all changed after just a month at rogue. I was surrounded by running addicts, like-minded people, and a program that was guaranteed to make me ready for the race. It didn’t take long before I started to think that the full marathon was something I could do.
Fast forward a bit…The San Antonio Half was done and I started training with James around the end of November. My confidence was high and the workouts felt like they pushed me further and made me stronger. Not to mention, James’s super high, energetic, run loving attitude is really contagious. I was fully addicted to the joy of running and signed up for more races, including the Shiner Bock HM, 3M HM, and the rogue 30K. Well, I PR’d at Shiner HM in early December but then January came by and all that confidence slowly started to fade. First of all, I decided to sleep in on the 3M race. Yup, I am that guy. Add to the misery of missing a race, the long runs on Saturdays did not go so well for me. I really struggled on all the long runs and did not feel like I was making progress. Then the rogue 30K came around, I was nursing a cold and barely finished that race. I was feeling pretty low, but the pep talk and course overview by James, Kim, and Mae really helped. I felt more confident about the race and I found myself looking forward to Sunday.
Race-day and I made it on time. 😀 Found the pacers, James and Jordan, and saw a lot of familiar faces. The nerves were settling down and I wanted to start …
On the previous day, I had studied Chris McClung’s race strategy for several hours…I imagined myself running in those 6 different sections. You know you did it too 🙂 I started out like he had said and I was soaking in the experience. I made sure James and Jordan’s pace time sticks were in view and I ran easy and comfortable. I stayed with James & Jordan until mile 6, where I slowly increased my pace by 5-10 seconds. I was running with a pace in mind, but I made sure that the effort I was putting in matched what Chris had described. As I saw the HM group separate from the FM group, I knew that the 13.1 to 20mile was upcoming, the dreaded section 5. It didn’t disappoint at all, and some doubt crept in but I still felt strong and I kept telling myself that the road to glory was just around the corner. During this stretch, I ran into Michelle Sears and she gave me a high five and ran for a second with me and rang her cow bells like a champ. Like Chris had said, have power words or phrases to beat this section and maintain….I had the power of the cowbells!
Well, after the 20 mile mark, I was ready for the downhill and the fun to start. But, I had the same experience that Amanda had. This was not the glory that I had envisioned or was expecting at all. I felt like I was doing something wrong…I felt like I was in hell. Grant it, a strong but cool breezy type of hell, but a painful hell nonetheless. I kept running and telling myself that it will get easier, and stick to my plan A. Unfortunately for me, my body decided to not play fair around mile 21. I guess getting in enough sodium IS really important…my quads and calves started to cramp and I found myself in a lot of pain. Adding to that new found pain, after a quick restroom break and water bottle refill around mile 22, I saw James and Jordan’s pace sticker about 10 seconds ahead of me. At that moment, the only thought in my head was that my plan A was now over. My plan B was to finish under 5hours and plan C was to simply finish. I think defaulting to plan B so soon was a huge mistake. I allowed myself to walk more and run less, because I knew I could cover the 4.2 miles within 5hours. I actually saw Amanda run past looking really strong, sorry I didn’t cheer you on but I was so hurting at the moment. But then Andrea and another rogue came from behind me around the UT stadium and I started to run with them. I felt great to see a familiar face, but then my shoelaces became untied and I had to stop. Then I cramped more, and Andrea and the other rogue was gone. Well….so I started to walk and was just thinking about walking when I ran into Giovanni. He and I ran/walked until we were about half a mile from the finish line. He continued on as I nursed my cramping legs. As I decided to walk up that final hill, the crowd started to cheer me on by my name and it was exactly what I needed. I pushed through the pain and actually ran up the San Jacinto hill and saw the crowd on both sides of the 11th street. Whatever pain I was feeling was gone and I started to run and all I remember was hearing my name and the cheers. I crossed the finish line and it was effin done! I did not know it at the time, but I was secretly planning for this run a year ago. The best part of the race, I ran into a fellow rogue runner whenever I needed that little push. While I had to go out and earn this finish, it was amazing to be surrounded by so many amazing people. I will finish off with a quote I like a lot…it is corny and from a movie many consider bad….
“If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. It’s not tragic to die doing what you love.” – Bodhi
Yea – I will be back next year for sure!